One of my favourite Twitter follows is a foreign correspondent for Sport-Express, which is Russia’s sports daily. He’s also an NHL.com contributor, and apparently a hockey dad of moderate craziness. (That’s me re-writing his Twitter bio.)

Anyway, he’s one of the most in-touch hockey writers I’m aware of when it comes to foreign-born (mostly Russian) players, and he just dropped the following two tweets:

 

Could Kovalchuk and others stay in Russia? It’s possible, and he clearly wants to give the All-Star game a go. The NHL doesn’t exactly have a whole ton of options to stop guys who don’t want to come back.

I wrote more on this earlier today, which you can check out here.

Updates to follow.

***

UPDATES:

From earlier:

 

Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork had this to add:

A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Kovalchuk as well as other Russian players expressed concern to the NHLPA Friday about their reluctance to return to North America, with escrow being the key issue.

Comments (16)

  1. Worst part of this is that my bro got a Kovalchuk jersey for Christmas, because a guy with a 15 year, 100 mil contract isn’t leaving anytime soon, is he? RIGHT? OH GOD HALP.

  2. What an absolute beauty.

    This new CBA is a band aid solution.

    • This has nothing to do with the CBA – beyond Kovy worried that the new salary cap is going to take more of his salary away via escrow payments.

  3. He’ll be back as soon as the ink hits the paper on the new CBA. Until then, why bother?

  4. The NHL has plenty of options, the biggest of which is to take the IIHF up on the issue of players playing in violation of their transfer cards being ineligible for international play. Tough break Kovy, you can watch Sochi from the stands.

  5. If Kovy stays, NJD will gladly use their amnesty clause. Why not?

    RC, IIHF has no power over KHL. Just like Hockey Canada has no power over the NHL.

    • I never said they did, but they run the show at the Olympics, which are in Sochi.

    • I can think of about 80 million reasons why not to use the amnesty clause on Kovalchuk. Not only that, if you amnesty him and then he changes his mind and wants to go to the NHL, he’d be able to sign with any team rather than having to come back to the Devils.

  6. Great. Russian teams with ties to the inner circle of government preventing Russian players from leaving for North America. This is a total load. Knock it off with this quasi-Commie evil, dammit; hockey is more important.

  7. first parise, now \kovy.. trouble afoot?

  8. Meanwhile, future russian born prospects are worried about their draft positions…

  9. Good. The less Russians in the NHL, the better.

  10. Why come back if you are not happy

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